The Importance of “Independent” Testing & Certification of Dietary Supplements

The Importance of “Independent” Testing & Certification of Dietary Supplements

Investigations, probes and scrutiny along with increased oversight by government in recent years have become motivating factors for companies in the dietary supplement industry to alter how products are developed, manufactured and validated. These investigations into the validity of nutritional products raised not only questions of the quality but also raised the level of awareness for consumers.

The results cast a very big spotlight on the importance of testing for determining the identity and quality of those products being marketed as natural. Although the investigations created awareness the resulting frenzy affected the entire reputation of the nutritional supplement industry. The impact on the industry brought attention to the importance of safety and quality, and public interest forced companies and manufacturers to take notice.

Independent testing is critical and third-party certification has played a key role in the industry’s efforts to recover from this era of uncertainty, as companies desire to assure consumers that dietary supplements are safe and effective aids for health and wellness. If products are to be successful today they must have much more than an effective marketing plan, they must have a built-in mechanism of trust based on clinical research, testing & certification.

Consumer interest and the desire to self-educate is also leading to impactful change. Consumers have educated themselves on what to look for to protect their health. Those companies that disregard the need for testing, certification and transparency will miss the boat and will fall by the way side.

Forward-thinking brands are leading the way with marketing campaigns and information about a product’s scientific validation, clinical research, independent testing processes and adherence to GMP standards. Not only has thorough testing become an integral part of the natural products industry, but it’s also a major competitive advantage.

Testing a nutritional formula today to ensure formula integrity requires that laboratories are using the most current technology and expertise available. Both the lab and scientist must possess a deep understanding of the industry and its products.

Some dietary supplement producers have come to rely on third-party certification to leverage their expertise and protect their brand’s reputation. Independent third-party certification carries a critical competitive advantage, they are verification of an organization’s commitment to quality, compliance, and safety, especially for professional – elite athletes who are subject to random testing for banned substances. In this instance an athlete’s reputation and career not to mention millions of dollars are on the line.

Certification marks or seals are a critical aspect of trust in a brand, third-party marks have value, they demonstrate a company’s commitment to compliance and quality. Since these programs are costly many companies choose not to participate. It is important to be clear about what was done to earn the mark, to provide information about the company that stands behind the mark, and to provide a place where consumers can get additional information about program details if they want to know more.

If this information is not made available a consumer may not know what a particular mark truly stands for. This level of transparency can also help to promote consumer trust when the certifying party is independent of the manufacturer.

Thanks for taking the time to read along, after all it’s your health and your health matters.